The state of Illinois has announced the finalization of its overhauled Medicaid program. In August, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services made public its initial selection for the managed care organizations to manage Illinois’ Medicaid programs over the next six years.
The proposed launch date for the revised Medicaid is January 1, 2018, leaving less than two months for the transition, with hundreds of thousands of Medicaid members needing to switch from their current healthcare provider.
Amount of MCOs Drastically Reduced
The effort for updating the Illinois Medicaid program has been led by IL Governor Bruce Rauner, and the recently released contract details for Illinois Medicaid, which represent over $5 billion, are now divided between seven healthcare companies, rather than six, as reported in August. These companies are:
- BlueCross BlueShield
- County Care
- Harmony Health Plan of Illinois
- Illini Care Health Plan
- Meridian Health Plan
- Molina Healthcare of Illinois
- Next Level Health Partners
Each of these companies will provide several coverage options for Medicaid members in all 102 Illinois counties, which total over 3 million patients, representing an aggressive expansion of the managed Medicaid program.
Medicaid Transitions Will Impact Patients
Notably missing from the list are healthcare giants Aetna Better Health and Humana, although several other insurers who currently provide Medicaid administration in Illinois will not continue in 2018, as Illinois currently has 12 managed care organizations.
Thousands of Illinois Medicaid recipients will need to transition their current health plans to a new MCO, and will likely face changing healthcare providers as a result, causing concern among industry experts and healthcare and patient advocates.